Last week for the very first time, God gave me the privilege to be part of the 2014 Pastoral Conference of our church (Lord of the Nations) and one of the topics was about the story of David and Jonathan. I do not have any notes regarding the lesson because I was the one who handled the LCD that time yet I was listening and I was enlightened to Pastor Allan Gamiao’s messages.
Many days as I was observing people inside the church, I find that the church today is actually a very lonely place. Many people have experienced a total relationship shutdown. Some have walked through painful church splits, others have been betrayed by friends they trusted, and still others have closed their hearts entirely to avoid being hurt.
It’s as if we forgot how to have true friends. I’ve even met some people who’ve told me they just can’t risk building friendships. So they live in isolation. They bear their own burdens. They get no encouragement. Some end up in depression. Aha! Something is wrong with this picture!
In the story of David and Jonathan, we see that God put Jonathan in David’s life at a crucial time in his journey to the throne. And if it were not for Jonathan’s covenant relationship with his friend, David would never have been able to overcome the obstacles he faced during the reign of King Saul.
The same is true for all of us. You will never achieve your maximum spiritual potential without the help of those key relationships God places around you. They are God’s blessings to us. Yet in order to benefit from these friendships you must open your heart and take the risk of being a friend.
According to Proverbs 18:24, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (NKJV). You cannot wait for a friend to reach out to you. Take the first step and be willing to break the stalemate.
As a Christians, we should experience a sense of family connection, but there are certain friends you will feel deeply connected to because God is putting you in each other’s lives for a reason. Don’t resist this process. Let God knit you to people.
There were times in David’s life when he had to encourage himself, but in this case, Jonathan was God’s instrument. He didn’t just encourage and support David when it was easy, he stayed loyal, no matter what trials presented themselves.
David confided in his friend Jonathan, and in some cases, he poured out his heart in frustration. At one point he said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity?” (1 Sam. 20:1). When I’m going through a difficult trial, I sometimes just need to voice out. And I have loyal friends who let me process my pain and they don’t run and tell others else about my weakness. This is true friendship.
At one point in David’s journey, Jonathan realized his friend would one day be king of Israel. This was actually Jonathan’s inheritance, since he was Saul’s son, but he acknowledged that God had chosen David instead. So he gave David his royal robe, his armor and his weapons (see 1 Sam. 18:3-4). This is a beautiful picture of how we are to prefer and honor each other. Jealousy destroys friendship. If we have God’s love in our hearts, we will want our friends to surpass us.
Jonathan lived in the spirit of Jesus’ word about friendship. If you have been hurt in previous relationships, break out of your isolation and ask God to heal your heart. Then choose to be a Jonathan to someone else.
So, let’s look at our friendships today.
I’m not going to tell you to abandon any friends who aren’t perfect, or who might need your support. I am going to tell you that if most of your friends are not the kind of people you can turn to when you need support, you might want to separate a little. Watch quietly. Look at character like Jonathan did. Then love those solid friends as you love your own soul.
“Jonathans” in our lives are essential, most especially to those with unending demands and sweeping emotional heartaches. I urge you to seek the Lord today by asking Him to lead you to someone for whom you might become a “Jonathan.” As a result, you will be used by God to give to this person invaluable help and hope.
If you already have friends like that? Remind them today how much they’ve blessed your life. As I think over the many, many friends who have blessed my life, I am deeply and incredibly humbled. Many of them don’t even know the depth of joy and blessing they’ve given me, but their influence, their words, the memories I have of them have reached into my life and reminded me of what’s important in ways they wouldn’t have dreamed were possible.
– Credit to Pastor Allan Gamiao (LOTN Las Vegas) for his inspiring lesson and for the TITLE of course!
– I would also like to thank the two persons close to my heart, Abegail Camille Arago and Monica Shiena Sagad for the encouragement, insights and a lot of ideas to made this possible.
– ALL GLORY BELONGS TO GOD!
Your sweetest Melody, ❤